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David Mamet Education. (2012) 'The Secret Knowledge of the Dismantling of American Culture.'

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Us 19, Hollywood 4, Gary Johnson 3, Harold 3, America 3, United States 3, Obama 3, Colorado 3, New Mexico 3, Harold Pinter 2, Ron Paul 2, Romney 2, Johnson 2, U.s. 2, New York 2, Chicago 2, Pincher 2, Mexico 2, London 2, George Bush 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    David Mamet  Education.  (2012) 'The Secret  
   Knowledge of the Dismantling of American Culture.'  

    December 16, 2012
    8:00 - 9:00am EST  

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>> i thought back to a time i was making a movie with harold, and we were shooting in white chapel, or as the jews of his era called it -- [inaudible] , and he started reminiscing about his life growing up over his -- >> [inaudible] >> yeah. he was reminiscing over growing up over his uncle morty's radio shop in the jewish area of white
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chapel, and his magnificent radio actor voice became yiddish and went back to 1938, and his face lit up remembering those days growing up in the warmth of the jewish ghetto of london. and i thought how can harold pinter, who i did and do revere, denigrate the west when if it weren't for the united states, he and every other jew many london would have been killed? i thought that was kind odd. i remember thinking when harold first started writing about politicsings, i was a young writer maybe in my 20s, he was probably 50 something, and i thought, isn't it a shame that this wonderful writer has turned into an old man, and all he can do is write about politics -- [laughter] >> well, ha ha. [laughter] but i think what happens, you know, one of our other great
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philosophers was huey led better who said in one of his songs that he'd done his fighting, and he commenced studying about the great long time. so i kind of think that's what i've been doing in the last few years, and just as harold did, to go from thinking about the most minute of human interactions to thinking about what the hell's going on here. and so i wrote this here speech. [laughter] [applause] so the 2012 emmys began with a predictable round of jokes about republicans including an exhortation to applaud the fact that there were no republicans in hollywood or any must be in hiding or be very lonely, indeed. my question was, what in the world did this partisan humor have to do with the trade show?
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particularly with a trade show beholden in every moment and in every way to capitalism, to a medium developed to flog goods by the sale of which those at the 'em manymies made -- emmys made their living. and what of the barn owl? i quote from the catalog of an old, revered american clothing company that branched out into selling knickknacks. naturally sustainable white poplar barn owl, organically friendly, reclaimed glass eyes, base made of a reclaimed horseshoe. [laughter] very well and good, but who in the world needs a barn owl, and what is this owl, the composition of which should obsess us? what is the reason behind this come pullsivity? it is the continuing proclamation that self-government is unnecessary, that one need not apply courage in making decisions, that one
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need not only spout the party line, but must do it continually. a group of celebrities pledged to obama, and when in the world did we begin in this country pledging allegiance to human beings? [applause] i brought this along because joe kiernan and his daughter wrote this great book. your teacher said what? this is what my child, my 13-year-old brought home from public school. are you a democrat or republican? on gun control, a democrat wants to reticket the number and amount of gun ins, a republican wants to allow citizens to buy guns without restriction. on the environment, a democrat wants to restrict drill, and a republican wants to not pass pollution laws that would cost factories money. if that's not taxation without
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representation, i don't know what is. [applause] the exhortation of the left are unreasonable and inconsistent insures that no one will adopt them accidentally because of their utility. they are, thus, a perfect pledge of allegiance, but they must be continually repeated as such and every possible instance or or occasion be introduced by a property station of faith or an anathema of the other side. should the leftists admit the obsessive incantations, the repressed -- which is doubt -- might actually, accidentally intrude. see, also, the marine recruit who is or was drilled to begin each sentence, each response with sir lest he attend an invitation to offer himself for sex. this was noted by the psychologist in 1921 and known as -- [inaudible] syndrome where here the individual overcome by authority
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is shocked into compulsive confession of his willingnesses to submit. as with house guests and strangers, one of liberal community is continually taxed with establishing his bona fides. in a happy family or work environment or religious organization, one may relax this inquisition and get on with the communal tasks. this is the most immediate effect of the benefit of community. in accepting community standards and commit b b one's self to their propagation, one trades some potential freedom do have action. we are not going to let the kids to grow up and choose, or i am going to make a commitment. i consider myself a citizen of the world as an example of one who won't accept responsibility. in a community one trades some freedom of action for increased security in the moment, and two community members share certain basic assumptions, and so their behavior is more predictable. they may violate community
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standards, but the penalty -- which is as ostracism -- is clear and costly, and so transgression of the norms is more restricted. but time with strangers must constantly be spent establishing the limits of intimacy. our most compact social limit is the family and functions almost completely in modes of behavior so long and definitely established that they become unconscious. in a family how one greets, praises, reprimands, apologizes, lies, demands, complains, these forms -- though unconscious -- are to the family completely known and completely clear, and the inclusion of even the most beloved of house quests shatters the ease of the family interaction, and the knowledge previously consigned to the unconscious mind must be brought to mind, to the conscious, explained, altered, or suspended for the went fit of -- benefit of the guest which is why mr. franklin told us fish and
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visitor begin to stink after three days. tolstoy says you know when a marriage is falling apart as the husband and wife's conversation progresses logically. [laughter] he was one smart jew. [laughter] it's impossible to convene even the smallest and most transitory of human groups without them improvising if they cannot discover a social structure, which is to say a culture. culture grows in mysterious ways, and its growth has nothing to do with reason. is it reasonable, for example, that all americans have to say what seems to be the trouble, officer? [laughter] where is it written that they have to say, hi, we can't come to the phone right now, but if you'll leave your name and number -- [laughter] where in the world are these forms proscribed? a culture exthem prizes itself in on receiver advances in response to necessity to deal with which it also exthem prizes
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myth. finish these can derive only from the limited recurring number of human problems and human solutions. the left's discovery of global warming, the sinfulness o man causingeas to rise and so destroy humankind may also be found in genesis 6. [laughter] and consider the taking of snapshots. before the shutters click, the photographer says, one, two, three. why? well, here's why i think in the first days of portrait photography an exposure could last up to three minutes, so the sitters' heads were mobilized by a brace because they couldn't move, or the shot would be foggy. as the three minutes started to end, the photographer would reassure them: almost done, one, two, three, now we're done. contemporary cameras can take a snapshot in one-thousandth of a
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second, but still the photographer says one, two, three. why? because photographers have always said one, two, three. but now the phrase is uttered before the shot, the photographer might say to allow the subject to compose himself. this makes every amateur portrait the lifeless same. the subject's face having adopted that selfsame i am now getting my picture taken. [laughter] in the original photos, the sitters look till and stern and have to hold still, and the contemporary posed shots every one of us looks like a fool. [laughter] not only is exposure instantaneous, there's no reason for stillness, but it persists and returns seemingly without human interhavings from the useful to the residual and the destructive. cities each have their own culture. in san francisco, a greeting to a stranger is likely to be
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returned n new york, ignored and in los angeles responded to with frigid rage. [laughter] likewise, of course, there's our beautiful american culture. it can be found most readily in our jokes, puns or illusions and the illusions of stand-up comedy or television commercials. they're the most powerful and cohesive. here's a great television commercial we saw at the super bowl. there's a holocaust of some time, a city's buried in rubble. later tough trucks of the manufacturer's brand emerge one by one, and the truck drivers get out to congratulate each other, all glad to be alive having had the wisdom to purchase so great a truck. and one survivor says to another, have a twinkie. [laughter] so what do we have here, but an illusion to a magnificent american myth; an urban legend taken from the very schoolyard where we've told ourselves for 50 years twinkies have a shelf
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life of 10 million years. [laughter] so why might people enjoy buying the truck? they were united in the most heavy of experiences, which is belonging. the left ridicules the nature of culture #k enshrines intellect. it's logical that all things may be reasoned through, and if we were just sufficiently intelligent to choose more intelligent leaders, all the age-old problems must disappear. but in the celebration of mom nip tent -- omnipotent intellect, we become those house guests, dedicated to figuring out how a family works. out goat patriotism, religion, free enterprise, free exercise of legal rights which anyone that takes the soap box alleges might offend. but now we are stymied because we don't know how to replace those practices, so a new culture is improvised. speak to no one at the airport,
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ride for 12 hours across the ocean and don't introduce yourself. don't talk to anybody on the elevator. keep your mouth shut because anything might offend. alter your speech in response to any suggestion that it might offend and demand to all -- for you yourself as you know are alone and confused and lost. the obama campaign's 2008 change may thus be understood as a directive, the whole of which is change or suffer. shall you stand up or sit down when the star-spangled banner is sung? shall you sing or not? shall a man open a door for a woman? are terrorists entitled to the same protections enjoyed by citizens? should folks of the same sex be allowed to marry? has she or she replaced he as the correct pronoun? they're operationally the same question as they create fear as the questioner has no idea where to look for guidance or
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clarification. just like the house guest and the host locked in the least terminable of discussions, the insistence on deference in all things. the mutual desire to express courtesy driving both sides mad. this fear of a cultural vacuum is filled historically by the spontaneous age of two leaders. the culturally unsettled, someone unquestionably superior to themselves and thus deserving that allegiance which will replace the structure sacrificed in the culture's abandonment. this is so beloved of the left, lenin, marx, car czars, enemy czars, director of -- [inaudible] someone in whom one can believe in in the midst of, quote, the mess we've inherited which was previously nobody as the united states of america. [laughter] see also jim jones, bernie madoff and all those claiming by
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intellect or faith they can supervene the natural laws. if there was such a thing as historical necessity, why in the world would we have to aid it? must one not question at least theceps of proportion of a human being who proclaimed they will save it under us the seas cease to rise? these idealogues, op to have tunists, walks and thugs seem to lead, but they actually emerge for and ride for power impelled by the massed confusion of the imbalanced group. the political impulse to submission for all it is explained in its outmoded forms may also be seen, aligned to the impulse -- [inaudible] the quiet of the psychic healer and energy therapist, bloodless surgeon and the worshiper of the political strong band each trade autonomy for magic. but the power of the magic
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feathers, the magic beans, the stimulus -- like the resurrection of tinker bell -- cannot be attempted without sacrifice. here the sacrifice of reason. the contemporary equivalent of gashing the flesh to make it rain. sacrifice, of course, implies a supernatural recipient, indeed, an angry god, and it requires a strong man, a priest, perhaps a demigod himself to teach us the forms. the duke may be aquestioned by his nonafflicted brother why the him from program in man should be supported when his words are meaningless, his promises have failed and his word proved worthless. but this misses the point. for as with the psychic healer, it is not the promised result of submission for which the afflicted is paying, but for the experience of submission itself which is a real and transitory cure for his anxiety. the victim of the mystic healer
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is kept in the fold by promises the treatment will work, but it will take more money, time or belief than previously suspected, and the victim of the demagogue, quizzical about the failure of his idol to accomplish anything but promised, is also schooled that the magic just needs time to work, that the disease was worse than previously imagined, and to suggest otherwise is not only illogical, but impie cross. he, this political duke, just like the object of an intervention, can affect my doubt as rage onto those who are trying to help him. this may be understood as demonic as they seem to acquire both his apostasy and dissolution. the leftist has paid with his autonomy. its merest weakening is to him equal to psychological death. consider, it leaves him alone. for if depid by doubt of his essential identity with the
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bring group -- believing group, he's also deprived with his opponents whom he has just recently denounced as the devil. and man is a social animal, so no -- [inaudible] with those threatened with his stranding. president obama, they say, fell apart on television because he is unuse today the altitude in denver. he was unresponsive, to have answered back would have granted him as an uppity negro. this is the president of the united states. see also the emergence in the liberal community and the spontaneous sequential adoption of excuses for his failure. look at the mess he inherited. you just oppose him because he's a black man. the system itself is broken. the job's too big for one man and finally, you know what? they're all the same. we human beings are lonely, that's why we're interested on life in other planets, in past lives -- [laughter] and in politics. that's why we fantasize about
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and adopt small groups, gays, blacks, palestinians, the handicapped as totems. this in decision to an expression of he jet mate -- legitimate humanitarian groups. unavailable to the mass. we, the larger pollty, imagine them, in fact, as tribes which is to say exotics, enjoying all the benefits of that gift of culture which we in the larger group have wished away. these tribes, we feel, possess to perfection those two things the victim of -- [inaudible] seeks in its political subjugation. the left names this enemy big business, the corporations, the 1%, the homophobe, the rich, the jews, america. this enemy in necessary not because the troubled are hateful, but because they're weakened. they've become weak through the constant, intolerable expenditure of energy in the
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improvisation of a culture. like the strangers on a cruise, perpetually bantering. a house guest, the leftist who has quite literally pledged allegiance to obama, fears his most precious possession may encounter irrational challenge which is insurmountable, and his faith then must fail. but the priceless appearance of a foul fiend can enliven his resolve calling not upon his exhausted belief, but upon his inexhaustible courage. i would suggest the beleaguered leftist reimagines himself as hoi ratio at the bridge. and which of the songs of my youth remain? casey at the bat, captain my captain, the star-spangled banner, the lord's prayer, the cottage, the deacon's one horse -- [inaudible] the bible, the declaration of
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independence, the gettysburg address. those various productions of poetry universeally read 50 years ago are replace inside the brave new world by slogans and the reduction of debatable propositions to commands. celebrate diversity, for example. where once we did not exhort, but practiced the celebration of its polar opposite, unity. english literature until the late mid century was largely illusive. it assumed a common knowledge of the bible, the gospels, the constitution, the works of shakespeare and various poets of that region and time. there was that called poetry still written today, but i defy anyone here to quote one line read as recently as last week. and yet we remember for our entire lives that which moved us not by command or by appeal to the intellect, but by resonance with the soul which is as opposed to political bleeps, we all share. the one-horse shay, have you heard of the wonderful one-horse
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or shay that was built in such a logical way, it ran 100 years to the day. i'll tell you what happened without delay. scaring the parson into fits, frightening the people out of their wits. have you heard of that, i say? and then he goes on to characterize how it all fell apart after 100 years, and it sends: you'll see, of course, if you're not a dunce, it went to pieces all at once. all at once and nothing first, just as bubbles do when they burst. oliver wendell holmes wrote that in 1858, and in 1972 sir john glove, a british historian, wrote a pamphlet called the fate of empires, 197 is 2. and he wrote that the great empires, asyria, persian, greece, the roman, the arab empires, the ottoman empires, spain, russia, britain, each flourished for around 250 years, and this seems to be the space allotted for imperial he
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generalny. too long a period of power leads to decadence, so the empire goes from the pioneers to the innovators, to the bureaucrats, from exploration on exploitation to decadence, the quest for world approval, the welfare state and squabbles over inherited wealth. and a notable feature, he writes, of the declining nations is the loss of physical energy. he suggests, as does the bible, that the state of a human organism is no different than the family. both recapitulate human individual tendencies, and like the individual human, evolve in predictable directions. the human might, indeed can, live to be 120 years, but no longer, and will decay through predict blg stages as will the family, however well ty -- and the state, however powerful. and now we see we in america are at the outword end of sir john gloves' 250 years, and we see the signs. we have passed through the ages
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of outburst, conquest, commerce, affluence, intellect, and we've come to the age of decadence. this in all empires, he writes can be identified by defensiveness, pessimism, materialism, frivolity, the welfare state, the dissolution of the armed forces, the weakening of religion and the attempt to curry favor in the world. but he also wrote a companion essay called the search or for survival in which he writes that every one of us contribute to the recovery of our country by working harder, by fostering a sense of comradeship and good work and that only a revival of spiritual devotion, not fashionableisms, can inspire service and even of us -- each of us can contribute by speaking and writing in that sense. if we have no reeders, we must go it alone. in the chicago public schools, we regularly read the lay of the last minstrel hoi ray shus of
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the bridge, and perhaps it is not quite the time to ask how can men die better or than by fiercing -- [inaudible] for the ashes of his fathers in the temple of his gods? perhaps that time is not quite yet, but it's earth that the time for sacrifice in the sake of the country and the judeo-christian values of which it was founded is near. the left's insistence on the notions of abortion, sex education, sterilization and gay rights, in looking at these we might be e reminded again that tolstoy reminds us the first visible symbols of a change are mistaken for force. the bow wave, which we see first s the most apparent, but it does not impel the ship. the smoke is the most apart but does not impel the locomotive. the left simply seems to be the various charges of -- [inaudible] independent of property station, they call for a lowering of the
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birthrate which is one of the first and a universal sign of national decline. see also the attendance call from the left for the lowering of the abolition for requirements for citizenship. the left would say the traditional definitions of such are an e jeej juice example of area gans, that we are first citizens of the world. but citizenship implies rights and obligations. what rights does an american have in north korea, iran, china or indonesia, and what rights does an american jew, gay or a woman, enjoy in syria? to suggest we're citizens of the world destroys our understanding of the term and so weakens our performance of the duties of a citizen. one might say that the ap to gee of american power was the 1969 moon landing, and since then we have been in a decline. this decline is inevitable,
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nothing lasts forever. this period of diminishing american he generalny, however, may be one of healthy age. we citizens are the owners of of this country and its board of directors, and we may find the strength to reasonably consider the options open to us in this confusing time. one of them is perfect. and this is a sign we must make a moral choice which is to say a choice between two flawed or, indeed, bad alternatives. if we do not choose, the choice will be made for us by those interested at home and aprod and weakening the power of the american electorate. it's not a brave announcement, but it is our country to govern, to defend and to enjoy as long as we choose to set our minds to it. thank you. [applause]
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>> i think we're going to have a few questions. so there are two people with microphones. raise your hand and, please, wait for the microphone, and we'll try to get to as many people as we possibly can. jim will start here, all right or? >> i'm jim pearson. mr. mamet, thank you very much for that thoughtful address, thank you. let me ask you a question about hollywood culture with which you began your address. and it's always been political to some degree. in the 1950s we had ronald reagan, the hollywood ten. today we have robert redford, barbra streisand. so you describe the culture. what is the dynamic in your opinion that drives it to the left, and are there any signs
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perhaps maybe in your own career by which it might be redirected before it brings us all down like a one-horse shay? >> well, you know, in my racket of show business and particularly in hollywood, we're pant cysts. if you look at the people who are championing, who are trying to save the world, various movie stars who are trying to save it, you know, in the '30s and '40s, you know, the phrase in hollywood is -- [inaudible] a man with a soul so dead he was not in the 30s read so the pant cysts are saving the world in every movie. it makes sense that they're going to start believing their own press notices. and that's what we, that's what we see. i don't know if that's the answer to your question, but i liked saying it. [laughter]
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>> we have a question way in the back. >> hi. you're a connoisseur of the competence man. you've geffen us some of the great confidence men in theater in film. jimmy dell is one of my favorite because you made steve martin a villain. i wonder as you look upon the political scene today how do you assess president obama as a confidence man in the panoply of confidence men, and not to put a fly in the oiptment, but how do you assess mitt romney at a confidence man? >> well, i don't know, you know? it's like they say, they're going to work their side of the street, and i'm going to work mine. i heard condoleezza rice talk about -- several weeks ago, and so and so said, my god, dr. rice, you're so brilliant, so funny, so smart, so
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patriotic, why don't you run for president? she said, i just don't have it in me. i used to tour with george bush, and at the end of the day, he was raring to go, and at the end of the day, i was raring to shoot myself. [laughter] so there are these people in our evolved system who spend their whole life doing press and begging, and they're called politician. and once in a while a publicker servant, we get one who also has the capacity to be a public servant and has a little time left over at the end of the day between lying and begging to take care of the country. [laughter] and as milton friedman said, we just don't have the time to bone up on the people who are trying to rob us through the x corporation, the people who are trying to rob us through the y union and the people who are getting a subsidy for this and that because we think about it for ten seconds a year, and they think about it all day every day. so there's only one thing that we can do, and that's to cut taxes and slash the size of the government. [applause]
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because, you know, who knows, who knows if there are confidence men. i don't know. you know, i met mitt romney. i like him very much. i shook his hand. on the other hand, i actually grew up and was born on the south side of chicago where obama claims to come from and was born in hyde park, and i saw that whole substratum -- i see everything through -- of course, they're all confidence men. next question. [laughter] >> we have a question here. >> [inaudible] ross is reopening a revival with al pacino playing a different role. your great and striking plays are rather cynical about american capitalism, and no great problem this. interestingly, harold pinter, his great play -- you've had nothing to do with his political message, but as a great or
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artist who's written some great plays, do you see yourself evolving that in some way, that in some way the way to articulate your politics and culture is going to be incorporated in your art in some way? >> well, i don't think any of my plays are political, i certainly hope they aren't, and also i don't think harold's are. he wrote a couple of accelerately political plays later in life, but husband plays were just -- his plays were just yumny. i don't think it's the place of the theater to be political. i shouldn't even be here tonight, actually. [applause] um, was i critical of capital? i was driving a cab at the time i wrote most of those early plays. and i'm not driving a cab 234eu8 anymore. [laughter] so, you know, i see -- if you're writing the same play at 65 as you were at 19, you're doing something wrong. [laughter]
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>> i saw heather higgins raise her hand, so why don't we get a microphone to her. >> thanks very much. um, when you talk about the doubt that is being suppressed by courage and belief and and you have now come out of the political closet, what are the doubts that you find are the most fertile ground for you when you're talking with your colleagues, trying to persuade them to, perhaps, have the same epiphanies that you have had? what are the arguments that -- >> the arguments that i find about what, ma'am? >> hmm? >> the arguments i find about what? >> when you're trying to understand your political transitions, where is the greatest doubts, where is it that you have the greatest success in trying to persuade others to see the world as you now see it? >> i, i can't persuade anybody. i don't have that power. i mean, i certainly wouldn't i a tempt it in the play, and the
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only people i ever talk to are conservatives. [laughter] if there are any liberals here, you're lost. you're in the wrong room. i don't try to persuade -- i don't want try to persuade -- i tell you what, i met my first conservative was a friend of a friend. i'd never met a conservative in my rife. in my life. and i was impressed by him because he answered questions. he was very composed, and he was very patient, and he was very simple, and he wasn't rancorous, and he tried to gauge his responses to level of my request, and he was very welcoming. and over the course of view i thought i don't understand anything this guy's saying, but he's so damn polite -- [laughter] maybe i should, maybe there's something in his convictions. it's like the old argument between the two great rabbis or, and they retired the cup not because his argument was better, but because he was more be lite.
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i don't think that one, i don't think that -- i really think that breaking free of the bubble is a terrible -- i think it's breaking free of the addiction of thought, and it starts in the public schools, and it starts in the private schools, and it starts in one-half of the media, and it's dreadfully hard to break -- especially as our country spreads itself into political enclaves. one goes through one's whole life never meeting a conservative or never meeting a liberal if you're in the other camp. so any of us who have had the wonderful experience of trying to convince a liberal by reason have come to appreciate the value of a trip to the dentist. [laughter] >> okay, we have a question over in the corner. >> david deroseier. i'm a big fan of glen gary, glen ross, particularly the opening scene where the compositioning
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structure is laid out. so first prize cadillac, second prize set of steak knives, third prize, you're fired. i think what you gave tonight was a cadillac of a speech, albeit is a black cadillac, one that might go in the front procession of a funeral. um, is there anything that you might be able to tell us, i mean, particularly -- i accept your diagnosis and prognosis, but could you give some mamet speech into what we could do to actually keep this experiment in self-government going? maybe even as you ended your last statement about how it can start in education -- >> yeah, i mean, i go through it all day. my wife and i've got a 13-year-old at home, and we're taking him out of that school and trying to find him some school that's not, not in the pot. i think it's important to tell the truth. i don't think that one has to be politically confrontational. i don't think it's productive, and i don't think it's polite. but i think once in a while when
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it's, when we have the opportunity perhaps if someone comes to us and says, you know what? would you explain your positions to me, to -- as i'm sure all of you do happen to be conservatives -- say, sure, i'd be happy to, please, tell me where i'm wrong? i haven't slept in the last two years. i don't know if anybody here has. [laughter] it's enough already. and i don't think it's the most important election since 1980, i think it's the most important election since 1860, i really do. yeah. [applause] >> okay o. anna there, and then we'll get the other question in the middle there. go ahead. >> why aren't there more conservative playwrights, and is there anything that can be done about that, or is that essential -- [applause] is that just inherent to the human condition and the nature of playwrighting? >> well, here's the thing. you can't breed playwrights.
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you really can't. i knew joe, knew him very, very well, great, wonderful guy and the biggest con man who ever lived. he kept shaking down the state, the government, rich people, and he did a hamlet wees key mows, and, you know, he did the women with an all-female cast. [laughter] held just do anything god damn thing, he didn't care. that's not the place for politics. and unfortunately, the contemporary theater comes out of the university system. you know? william h. macy and me and joe mountain ya and william peterson and dennis franz, we were all kids in chicago, 22 years old, and we had our own theater company. we didn't know any better. we made it up as we went along. but kids nowadays, i think we're doing that on the internet and twitting, you know, whatever the hell they do, but they study the theater and award it for doing the theater in universities which are all the liberal arts
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universities are completely democratic. and so the kids rather than having the experience of the free market which me and macy and billy peterson, franz had, you've got to please the audience, or they're not coming back together. we had the fortunate experience of growing up trying to please the teacher, right? and that's not theater. and so they grow up because that's where the play wrights come from, and ask then they come to new york, and you have your pick of aflick play, you know? -- affliction plays. who's going to be in the barrel this season because we can come out humming the fact that x, y and z are people too and feel good about ousts. you've got to have a place to fail. you ever look at somebody's resumé and you see they won the following play competitions, you don't have to read their plays. they can't write. [laughter] [applause] >> we had a questioner in the middle. >> yes, just to follow up on
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that, i would love to get your opinion on the work of your new york times' esteemed colleague tony curber in. >> you know, tony's going to work his side of the street, and i'm going to work mine. we have very different -- he's a very good writer. we have very different political, we have very different political views. you know? that's the great thing about prix speech -- free speech, you know? [applause] it lets -- i get the right to put on my plays. if i can find enough suckers, you know, to informs in them. [laughter] and so does he. and there are some of them in the audience, yes, i'm glad i said it. okay. [laughter] you know, we'll let, we'll let it fight out. we'll fight it out, you know? posterity will be its own judge, and what will it mean to all of us? we'll all be gone, big deal. >> okay. there's another question in the middle there somewhere? yeah, ryan.
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why don't you grab that. >> hi. my name's phil mills, an actor. and i was just, i was really interested in what you were saying about we humans as social animals and about excommunication. and i was wondering if you had had your, i guess, intellectual conversion earlier in life before you were less established and a little bit odder, would you have been more reticent to be vocal about it, or, you know, in -- >> you bet. >> yeah. [laughter] >> okay. good to know. laugh. >> you know, i'm pretty arrogant, but i don't think i'm stupid. [laughter] that's a different thing, you know, somebody coming up, and you've got a family to support, and sometimes you've got to -- look, the jewish tradition says
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the law of the land is the law. so sometimes it's a good idea to keep your head down, and sometimes it's not. and is it true that i had, enjoy a position such that i felt immune to a certain amount of harmful criticism? yeah, that is true. and had it happened earlier? i don't know, it's an excellent question. thank you. >> question back near the center. >> yeah. >> quick question. do you have a community organizer, and if so, do you know what his name is? >> i couldn't -- i'm sorry. >> no, would you repeat the question? >> the question is, do you have a community organizer, and if so, do you know what his name is? >> do i have a community d. >> a community organizer? and do you know what his name is? >> do i have a community organizer? listen, a community organizer -- you know, i grew up, and all my parents knew all those saul lin
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sky, but a commitment organizer is just another name for a thug. [laughter] has anyone ever read, have you read the works of saul olin sky, revly for radicals? what's the ore one? also the young actor over there, also, you know, i realize it's not my job to walk on a step and say all you brain dead liberals over here, have you not read frederick hayek, you know? so the people are going to be talking about it at the water ceerl. so big deal, let 'em talk. >> one last question here. >> yeah, one last question. >> can you tell us about your new play, the anarchist? can you tell us about your new play, the anarchist? >> yeah. oh, good. i've got a new play -- [laughter] it's the anarchist. [laughter] [applause] and howard kagan and jeffrey richards who are here tonight produced it, god bless you, and it's a kind of a pass tier of --
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patty lieu pone plays a weatherman, one of the bombers, you know? one of those killers, bill ayers, bernadette dohrn, angela davis, all of those political icons who are now teaching in our higher education. but she plays an amalgam of -- not quite kathy pew dean but maybe -- what was the, there was another woman who just got caught after 30 years -- >> susan something or other, she went back in the joint. so she's -- or one of the mine of women. so patty plays one of these women who was a or terrorist, and she's been in jail, and she's up for a parole hearing, and the person who's been her parole officer played by deborah winger is trying to make up her mind trying to let her go or not. and i think it's pretty cute. i mean, you're going to leave humming selections from marx, and who could ask for anything
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more? [laughter] thank you. [applause] >> for more information, visit the author's web site, davidmamet.com. >> you don't always find many newspaper editors in my era embracing investigative reporting. the point we've seen over the years it's not just economics, it's the discomfort that investigative reporting often causes in a newsroom. because it's troublesome. it's that more than the economics. i mean, if you're going to ruffle the feather ors of somebody powerful, that gets those people running in to complain to the publisher, and their stories are legion over the years about those kinds of things happening. don and i were very fortunate through the '70s and really almost all our careers to work for people who were really strong and upright in that area
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and just let the chips fall where they may. >> the team of donald bar let and james steele will take your calls, el mails and -- e-mails and tweets next month on "in depth." the pair are the co-authors of eight books, their latest "the betrayal of the american dream." watch live sunday january 6th at noon eastern on booktv on c-span2. >> host: on your screen is the cover of a new book that's coming out in august 2012, "seven principles of good government: liberty, people and politics." it's written by former new mexico governor gary johnson, and he is also the libertarian party nominee for president in 2012. governor johnson, when and why did you leave the republican party and become a libertarian? >> guest: well, you know, i've probably been a libertarian my entire life, so this is kind of coming out of the closet. [laughter] and i don't think i'm unlike most americans.
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i think there are a hot more americans in this country that declare themselves libertarian as opposed to voting libertarian. so, you know, the pitch that i'm trying to make right now is vote libertarian with me just this one time. give me a shot at changing things. and if it doesn't work out, you can always return toty, and i'm going to argue that that's what we have right now. >> host: what are those seven principles of good government that you write about? >> guest: well, one is being reality-based, just find out what's what, base your decisions on that, make sure everybody that knows, that should know what you doing knows what you're doing, so communicate. don't hesitate to deliver bad news. there's always time to fix things. be you don't have a job -- if you don't have a job you love enough to do what it takes to get your job done, then quit and get one you do love. acknowledge mistakes immediately. there's always times to nix
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things. i know there's a couple more in there, but very common sense, and i did live, i continue to live my life by these principles. >> host: are these principles that you had and used when you were governor of new mexico? >> guest: always. always. and i actually delivered one of my state of the state addresses using the seven principles. look, here's what, here's how we need to conduct ourselves, and, anyway, just very common sense call. >> host: so if you would, your philosophy and the libber tear party's not my of the right role of government, the right size of goth. >> guest: so libertarian philosophy if you were just with a broad brush stroke, the notion that most of us in this country are socially accepting and that we're fiscally responsible. that's a broad brush stroke. a broad brush stroke is wearing
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a pin, a lapel pin that says i'm pro-choice regarding everything. well, pro-choice regarding everything means that, actually, if your choices involve putting other people in harm's way or your choices end up defrauding or harming another human being, then that's when the government, that's where the government does have a role. to protect us against individuals, groups, corporations that would do us harm. >> host: as governor, did you, did you shrink the size of the state government? do you -- you used your veto pen quite a bit, but were you able to shrink the size of the federal -- >> guest: when it came to dollars, i was able to cut the rate of growth in half x that was the historical rate of growth. i always pointed at state government employees. over an eight-year period, there were 1200 fewer state employees
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starting with 12,000, ending with 10,800. it was a 10% reduction in state government employees which i always pointed out unquestionably said that, hey, we were doing things more efficiently because we were doing things with fewer state employees, and we were doing more things. i'd like to point out that the real driver of state budgets state to state is medicaid. and that, of course, is a federal entitlement, and you really -- it's open-ended. and that's what has us in the predicament that we have are the entitlements, medicaid, medicare, social security to a lesser degree. but we have to address the entitlements. we have to address the entitlements. >> host: and what is the libertarian position on that? >> guest: well, i am promising to submit a balanced budget to congress in the year 2013. now, that's not promising a balanced budget, that's a promising to submit a balanced
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budget to congress in the year 2013 believing that if we don't reduce government expenditures by $1.4 trillion, that we're going to find ourselves in the midst of a monetary collapse and a monetary collapse very simply is when the dollars we have aren't worth anything. and that's going to be the consequence of us continuing to borrow and print money to the tune of 43 cents out of every dollar. >> governor gary johnson is the author of this book, "seven principles of good government." he is also the libertarian candidate for president. what ore issues -- other issues are, do you write about this in? >> guest: well, this being kind of a background on my history, i've been an entrepreneur my entire life. i started a one-man handyman business in albuquerque in 1974 and grew that business to employ over a thousand people using those same principles, you know? showing up on time.
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just doing what you say you'll do for people. it's amaze aing how far that will go. it talks about my running -- i have been completely outside of politics my entire life. the only two other political offices that i've run for, governor of new mexico and re-election of governor, as governor of new mexico. and i may have made a name for myself. i did make a name for myself, arguably, vetoing more legislation than the other 49 governors in the country combined. i vetoed 750 bills. i took line item veto to a new art form. thousands of line item vetoes. i said no to billions of dollars worth of government spending, and i said no to legislation that i think would have just added time and money for us to have to comply with those laws, but that it wasn't going to make us any safer, wasn't going to make -- it wasn't going to improve our lives in my way, and -- in any way, and it was
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going to add money that we were going to have to spend on it and time to be able to have to comply with it. >> host: you also funded your own campaigns, essentially, department you? >> guest: well, my first campaign, i funded it out of a $550,000 primary, 510 of that was mine and 30 of the remaining actually came with just a few days to go in the primary because it appeared as though i might actually win. and i'd like to point out that new mexico is a state that's two to one democrat, so getting elected vowing to be a penny pincher, spending my first time proving that i was a penny pincher beyond reproach and then getting reelected by a bigger margin the second time than the first time, i think, i think that speaks to the fact that people really appreciate good stewardship of tax dollars. >> host: the libertarian party is often associated with changing the drug laws, and you've advocated for that as
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well. >> guest: changing the? >> host: drug laws. >> guest: drug laws. yes. since 1989 i've advocated the changing of legalizing marijuana. i think we're at a tipping point with regard to marijuana and legalizing it. i think that, um, that colorado is going to do that. it's on the ballot in colorado this november, regulate marijuana like alcohol. i think it's going to pass. when it passes, and it doesn't pass in colorado, it's going to pass. 50% of americans now are saying they support the notion. it's a growing number, it's a growing number because people are talking about the thish more than they ever have before recognizing 90% of the drug problem is prohibition-related, not use-related. that's not to discount the problems with use and abuse, but that should be the focus. i think when we legalize marijuana, i think we're going to take giant steps forward
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regarding all other drugs, and that's going to be starting with looking at the drug issue first as a health issue rather than a criminal justice issue. >> let's get the police out on the streets enforcing real crime, let's free up the courts, and let's empty the prisons of the 2.3 million people that we have in them, the majority category of those being drug-related. and, of course, we're not going to, we're not going to release anybody from jail that has committed other crime in lieu of drug crime. but those that are in jail, victimless, nonviolent drug crime, there needs to be, there needs to be communation of those incidentses, and -- sentences, and there needs to be pardons for 30 millions but for their drug laws and have served out their sentences but for our drug laws would otherwise be tax paying, law-abiding citizens.
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>> host: where do you see the intersection between republican policies and libertarian policies? >> guest: on the right when you talk about b a balanced budget. when you talk about a balanced budget, and we need to balance the budget immediately, we need to cut federal spending. strong u.s. dollar, monetary policy. that's the intersection. if i can jump ahead, the intersection when it comes to democrats is civil liberties. look, let's repeal to the patriot act. i never would have signed the act allowing for you and i to be arrested and detained without being charged by the u.s. government. let's bring about marriage equality. let's get out of afghanistan tomorrow, bring the troops home. let's end the drug wars. look, these are democrat issues, historically democrat issues that they aren't going anywhere on today just like republicans historically their issues have been about dollars and cents, and neither, neither one of the parties do well in the areas that they're supposed to do well. they're horrible in the areas
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that they don't do well, meaning romney is horrible on civil liberties, and obama is horrible when it comes to dollars and cents. >> host: as a libertarian now, is it a little tougher to get media attention away from the two-party system, and especially as the campaign goes on this fall? >> guest: well, speaking for myself personally, actually, there's probably been about a 30% pickup in attention given making the switch, so, no, i think just the opposite, that it has picked up, and i'm believing that when people come to recognize that there are going to be three candidates on the ballot in all 50 states -- me being one of those three -- that that's going to go a long way toward garnering just a little bit of who is that person along with ron paul's campaign coming to an end. and by his own admission he says
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it's coming to an end. i think that ron paul's supporters would not be compromising their vote with a vote for the libertarian ticket, myself and judge jim gray. >> host: who we also talked to here on booktv. gary johnson 2012 is the web site, dot.com, i should say, and here is the cover of governor johnson's new book, "seven principles of good government: liberty, people and politics." out in august of 2012. >> is there a nonfiction author or book you'd like to see featured on booktv? send us an e-mail at booktv@cspan.org or tweet us at twitter.com/booktv. >> with a month left in 2012, many publications are putting together their year-end looks of notable books. booktv will feature several of these lists focusing on nonfiction selectn